Oscar-Nominated Director of Gasland Arrested While Attempting to Film House Hearing on Fracking

Josh Fox, whose Oscar-nominated 2010 documentary Gasland investigated communities affected by natural gas drilling, was arrested today while attempting to film a public House hearing on hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," according to Politico (via Indiewire). "This is a public hearing," Fox said as he was being handcuffed. "I'm within my First Amendment rights, and I'm being taken out."

Fox is working on a sequel to Gasland, and the hearing was being held to explore the EPA's investigation of fracking contamination in Wyoming. Fox was asked to leave by security and when he refused was charged with unlawful entry. The hearing proceeded, with subcommittee chairman Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) noting that filming and photography by noncredentialed press was not allowed by rule. (Watch Harris' remarks, and the entire hearing, via pre-recorded webcast here.) "That's why we have rules that control who is recording..." he added, "just so we clear the air on that."

Before he continued, Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) motioned for an exception. "I think all those rules are to control access where there's limited access, but it is very clear that we have space in this room for either of them to film this hearing. If you claim that that rule does not allow them to film, or more accurately allows you the discretion to turn them away, I move that the rules be suspended to the end so the fella who wanted to film for HBO be allowed to film this hearing and that ABC News be allowed to film this hearing and all God's children be allowed to film this hearing until the room is too full to conduct our business."

Miller's motion went to voting, with members voting 7-6 in favor of a motion to table his motion, and that was that - a riveting mini-drama in its own right. Below, Huffington Post-obtained video of Fox's arrest.

[Screenshot and video via Huffington Post]


  • AS says:

    Silence the people so the corporations can go on with their bidding. God bless the USA.

    • That is hardly what transpired here. Try reading the account. Fox was non-credentialed and therefore not permitted to film. Before you charge corporate censorship of the meeting ask yourself how it is we have a video of his arrest.

      • Alex says:

        Disney is so powerful that they changed copyright law in this country. Of course ABC is going to be allowed to film.

      • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

        And not to speak for AS, but I don't think the media corporations are the problem here. This is about the natural gas/energy industry and its lobbyists. Fox probably could have filmed any other hearing in the Capitol without consequence, but because he's a muckraker with an Oscar nomination in his back pocket, they railroaded him at this one. Someone had to tip someone else off for this to even happen. So yeah! God bless America.

  • sk1951 says:

    What part of public hearing is not being heard here!!!! ANYONE should be able to film or record. Like the judge said "so we can control"...crock of total horse pie.

  • Allison says:

    hanno partorito un mostro di auto!!!

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